September 7, 2004

Spanish Time from what I can tell so far

When they say that Spanish people live on a whole other time frame, they aren't kidding. I am still trying to understand the hours of operation of most places in this city but there isn't much of a standard. Often, I try to memorize the hours of the places I need to visit most often, but sometimes they don't even post them.

At my school, the administration offices are open from 10am to 1pm and then again from 4pm to 6pm. If that is always the case, they only work about 25 hours a week? Maybe there are some extra hours in there somewhere.

The internet cafe across the street doesn't seem to have any set hours. I just look out the window to see if it is open every other hour or so.

So they arrive to work around 9-10am and then work for a few hours. Then by 1-2pm people take a long lunch break. I think most people try to go home for this extended break. That makes me think that most people must live very close to their work. (Which isn't always the case in America.) Then they return around 4-5pm and stay open for a couple more hours. Most stores close up shop by 8-9pm. Apparently then the dinner time is from 9-10pm and then people might go out for the night.

I went out with people I met in the city to local restuarants and bars and walked home at a meager 3am and the major central street, Las Ramblas, was full of people as if it was day. Isn't unheard of for people to be coming home around 6 or 8am.

I even heard of these bars called 'The Afters,' that are open past 4am but you have to know where they are and knock on the closed door to get in.

After one week here, I am already going to bed at 2am and struggling to wake around 10:30am. Good thing I don't have classes until 3pm, but it really changes your concept of a day living like this.

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